Groundswell Community Mural Project ©

Acrylic on Wall
30 x 123 Ft

Lead Artist: Katie Yamasaki
Assistant Artist: Menshahat Ebron
Youth Artists: Gloriby Munoz, Shekhshem Ebron, Tchesmeni Leonard, Adria Richard,Desiree Soto, Annie Wu, Sharry Luong, Crystal Kinscy, Min Ting Liu, Yun Zhi Lu

Location: Washington Avenue & Lincoln Place , Prospect Heights , Brooklyn


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Part of our ongoing Voices Her’d series, ‘A New Day’ was conceived by girls in the mural team through a series of discussions, writing, and art activities. Some of the ideas for imagery came from Judy Chicago’s ‘Dinner Party’ artwork in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The group examined this key feminist artwork and its role in the feminist movement and modern relevance, both political and artistic. The group also wove into the design ideas from the FAR Fund, one of the projects funders. The FAR Fund is devoted to building non-violent culture for inner-city youth, and is concerned with the development of teens as activists. Utilizing these themes, the discussions, writings, and art exercises lead to the primary vision for the mural, ‘Strong Women Build Safe Communities’. This was depicted in the following way:

Ten figures, representing the mural team, stand proudly surrounded by waves, backed by a golden sky. Each wears a gown that depicts another reality- each reality representing one of ten tenants describing the major components of ‘strong women building safe communities’. From left to right they read as follows:

. High literacy and good schools.
. Involvement in the media and critical consumption of that which is presented.
. Involvement in the political process.
. Financial independence.
. High employment and career alternatives.
. Parental supervision and involvement.
. Healthy bodies, healthy foods.
. Honoring the ancestors (portrait depicts Judy Chicago).
. After School Programs.
. Clean streets, green streets.

The figures are looking into the sunrise, pensive and optimistic. A young woman and child stand facing the figures also optimistic. The young, Muslim girl holds a dove in her hand hoping that it is indeed, a new day. The border that surrounds the mural pays homage to the decorative arts, representing textiles from cultures around the world. This was inspired by Judy Chicago's use of handicraft in the Dinner Party, giving credit to the 'women's work’ so often ignored by the fine art world.

The water symbolizes a force that both unifies and separates women. “It shows that as women we are globally united by goals for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. That which divides us (geographically, politically, culturally, etc.), in this case water, can also be the means by which we eventually come together”-Katie Yamasaki, Lead Artist.

The 2005  Summer Leadership Institute was made possible by public funds from Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, Office of Children and Family Services & Assemblyman Felix Ortiz , Department of Cultural Affairs, Public Service Award & Brooklyn Borough President's Office, National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Summer Youth Employment Program and the New York State Council on the Arts administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC), The Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, Fund for Social Change/ The FAR Fund, Rush Philanthropic Arts Pepsi/Hip Hop / Ludacris Challenge, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation Inc, The Puffin Foundation.